Reading Notes: The Ministry for the Future

Published: April 30, 2024

A cool image about MftF
Zurich, Switzerland (photo: Manuel Bauer)

Kim Stanley Robinson’s hard sci-fi climate novel The Ministry for the Future is part of an Honours course I teach on utopian literature. When I first read the book, I made a brief note for each of its 106 (!) short chapters, as a kind of map or navigation aid to help me in my teaching.

I’ve decided to post it here, as my first ever blog post, in case anyone else finds it helpful.

So here you go…

KSR MftF Reading Notes

Dedication - For Frederic Jameson (cf. “harder to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”)

1 - Uttar Pradesh, heating up, boiled alive. No help is coming. Devastating. Must read - unpack all the themes. People, helping each other. Frank May working at the clinic. READ

2 - Sun god. Mythical tone.

3 - ‘Ministry for the Future’ created in Zurich, after COP29 (Bogotá), in 2025.

4 - Zurich. Present tense… MoF offices. “Geotechnical expertise and lots of money”. Mary Murphy, head of MoF. After heatwave, India plans “solar radiation management action” (18). Crisis for MftF. India accuses the West.

5 - Frank May survives. Perspective: Indian voiced “we” (rescue workers).

6 - India takes a stance (Avasthana - “survival”, a new democracy of the poor) in wake of heat wave tragedy (20 million dead). Rest of the world, business as usual… Fredric Jameson tagged (end of capitalism impossible to imagine, p25), and the subaltern (p26). READ

7 - Glasgow. Frank May recovers, questions. Survivor’s guilt?

8 - Burning fossil carbon. The science, the companies, the upstanding executives. Good ending - the moral quandary.

9 - Zurich. Mary Murphy & Badim Bahadur contemplate the failures of justice. MftF mission: future justice. Tatiana Vosnesenskaya (KGB femme fatale Russian-typed) talks legal perspective. Idea of ‘Earth religion’ flouted.

10 - India pumps aerosol particulates into the sky. Perspective: Indian “we” (pilot crew).

11 - Ideology. A brief argument for science-backed ideology.

12 - Extinction. Ocean acidification. Welcome to the Anthropocene (the “facts”?).

13 - Frank’s PTSD. Returns to India, tries to join the Children of Kali (“Never Again”).

14 - Troubles erupt? Indian doctor (“we”). Rebels & government fight. Has to leave town.

15 - Zurich. Badim’s aide takes notes. Meeting the MftF executive team. World is fucked. How to spend 60B dollars on leverage points?

16 - A scientific justification for socialism. World can sustain “enough” for all. Why doesn’t it work? Discuss in class (cf. Le Guin). Also - Robinson perhaps overly confident in science? Ending - QQ. READ.

17 - Who makes the economy run? A disembodied dialogue. People, actor networks, money, programmes. Interesting structure…

18 - Glasgow. Frank’s PTSD, cont’d. “Hope to do some good, no matter how fucked up you are.” Therapy, eye movements. Trying out Antarctica. Failing.

19 - Blowing up fishing boats. Perspective: a slave on the fishing boat. Eco-terrorists?

20 - Gini coefficient & metrics of measurement. Neoliberalism as our present “structure of feeling” (the ubiquitousness of economic paradigm as measurement. Note Robinson’s ‘Strong Opinions’, worked into the narrative - what kind of book is this? How does it compare to Le Guin? Note also Robinson’s tone, the authority of data, the reassurance of his exclamation marks. READ

21 - Switzerland, Brissago (Lake Maggiore). Rich partying it up. Someone kills a partygoer with a piece of driftwood.

22 - Geneva. Glaciologists convene. Plan to drain water from beneath glaciers proposed.

23 - Zurich. Frank’s nerves fail in an assassination attempt on an oil executive.

24 - On perceptual error and cognitive bias. Ref. to ideology.

25 - Zurich. Frank kidnaps Mary Murphy, tried to radicalize her. NB quote: ‘“Come on,” he said. “You know. You know the future.” It sounded like he might hurt his voice, he was so intent to speak without shouting. He coughed, shook his head. “And yet you’re not doing anything about it.
Even with your job.“’ (p96) —> Class discussion: Why can’t we do anything about it? READ / DISCUSS (Note: not the most well written scene - somewhat clunky - but interesting questions it raises. Interesting dialogue, between “black ops” & rule of law. What does Robinson suggest here? Wither Utopia?)

26 - Zurich. Surveillance. Frank goes “low profile”. Shades of Michael K (garden shed)?

27 - Zurich. Mary under police protection. About Frank: “A terrible conviction had been forced into him.” (p107) —— NOTE: Is this the theme? What needs to happen or be done for climate change to be taken seriously? Compare reflective/‘strong opinion’ chapters, the subtext: how to go from realisation into action? Is this the Utopian mechanism, the going-over-into action? —— Mary & Badim discuss black ops, organisational structure, political violence as murder. Robinson is really annoying as a writer when he tries to personalise what people are feeling by describing their bodily functions (e.g. Franks wild eyes & heavy breathing; Mary’s knotted stomach & tumultuous thoughts).

28 - Hebrew “Tzadikim Nistarim”, “the hidden righteous ones”. Nice meta twist at the end.

29 - Antarctica. Pete Griffen and his postdocs try to pump water from beneath the Thwaites Glacier. They hit a snag. Talk about funding, necessity, work - doing what needs to be done.

30 - The Great Turn, after the “Trembling Twenties”. KSR posits the figure of a future historian… interesting for Utopian discussion. Thoughts on periodisation, Raymond Williams’s “structure of feeling”. This is excellent. Making sense of climate crisis via time, periodisation, structure of feeling. READ

31 - A New India. Coalition of the people, after heat wave. Kerala provides a model, and Sikkim and Bengal for regenerative agriculture. NB this is where the utopian vision kicks in. Question for class: what is utopian about it? READ (For KSR, political will - a necessity - comes from India, in the wake of the heat wave. Why India?)

32 - Mary & Dick talk economics: discount rate, value of future generations. Weird rugby analogy. India’s “seven generations” bell curve discount model. Narrative form: dialogue.

33 - Children of Kali assassinations. The “guilty” get taken out, one by one.

34 - MftF trip to India. Government talks of renewing solar radiation management. Karnataka farms: a green powerhouse. Edge of aggressive pride. Form: Badim’s note-taker takes notes.

35 - Refugees from Algiers and Tunisia pass through Switzerland. A riot at the station. POV (a refugee) is weird - calmly explaining the onset of frenzy. Feels impersonal, the voice neutral, North Atlantic.

36 - 2032. Arctic ice melts away during summer. Catastrophic consequences come closer: “jungle planet” feared. Awkward attempts to fix it (“like sucking the ocean through a straw”).

37 - Libyan migrants in Switzerland. Young girl’s perspective. Jake (Frank May?), volunteer worker in the camp, marries their mother. Volatility, people as quarks (strangeness, spin, and charm). QQ: “My mother is a calm person. She pours herself into a chair and relaxes there like a cat.”

38 - Disembodies dialogue - radio interview? Considering global alternatives to neoliberal order. An “inherent, inbuilt resistance to change”? QQ: “Demonstrations are parties. People party and then go home. Nothing changes” (p156). Constipation metaphor - push harder!

39 - Davos hostages. QQ: “…strip-mining the lifeworld” (p163). The tone - anonymous Davos participant - is cynical, glib, really quute an awful person. Discuss this person in class. Note ending: “So, effect of this event on the real world: zero! So fuck you!” (Point of Davos capture perhaps to lay bare the futility of re-education?)

40 - Essay. Jevons Paradox, good and bad efficiencies and inefficiencies. The inevitable failure of purely technical solutions to climate change. Orienting principle should be: “we should be doing everything needed to avoid a mass extinction event” (p166). NB This is an excellent little potted assessment on what’s wrong with economics - READ.

41 - September 11, 2034. Taps run dry in a city. People queue for water. Thoughts on society as a question of life and death - “Fuck Margaret Thatcher!” (169). Utopian moment - people remaining orderly, realising that this is their only hope (p168). Discuss. READ

42 - MftF. Janus Athena discusses carbon coins with Mary Murphy and Dick Bosworth. Thoughts on AI planning replacing ‘market efficiency’.

43 - Blockchain. A cryptic take on crypto. DISCUSS - blockchain as utopian ideal?

44 - Antarctica. Pete Griffen. Pumping seawater onto the Eastern Antarctic Ice Sheet. Russian-billionaire-funded.

45 - Mary goes to California. Part 1 - California forward presents a model of their carbon-neutral state (achieved). A pure utopian vision, water commons, rewilding, etc. Part 2 - A meeting with the central bankers. The fundamentally entrenched power of money. Nothing will change there, Mary realises. They dislike the idea of a carbon coin. Not utopian… READ (contrast between utopian ideals and entrenched realities, in the same chapter - perhaps a microcosm for the book?)

QQ: “Mary regarded them, thinking it through. Because money ruled the world, these people ruled the world. They were the world’s rulers, in some very real sense. Bankers. Non-democratic, answerable to no one. The technocratic elite at its most elite: financiers. Mary thought of her group back in Zurich. It was composed of experts in the various fields involved in the matter, people with all kinds of expertise, many of them scientists, all with extensive field experience of one sort or another. Here, she was looking at a banker, a banker, a banker, a banker, and a banker. Even if they understood an idea, even if they liked an idea, they wouldn’t necessarily act on it. One principle for bankers in perilous times was to avoid doing anything too radical and untried. And so they were all going to go down.
Looking out over San Francisco and its bay, at Mount Tamalpais and the broad stretch of the Pacific, Mary heaved a sigh. This was not just a meeting of two women and three men, but of five teams, five institutions, five nation-states at the heart of the global nation-state system. The Paris Agreement’s Ministry for the Future was small and impoverished, these central banks were big and rich. Just because the need was urgent and her case was good, that didn’t mean anything would change. You couldn’t change things with just an idea, no matter how good it was. Was that right? It felt right. Power was entrenched but that phrase caught just a hint of the situation actually the trenches were foundations that went right to the center of the earth. They could not be changed.
The meeting dragged to a close. Time to get a drink. Nothing had happened.” (p189)

46 - A weird, visceral metaphor: the market as an all-consuming animal.

47 - Zurich. Jacob Salzman (Frank May) walks around in the city. Spies on nude swimmers. Thoughts on surveillance. The 2000 Watt society. The mysteries of Swiss prosperity. Frank volunteers again. Refugees at Needle Park: a refugee underground railroad? Anti-immigration sentiment builds. Frank tries to help. Racist thugs attack a food tent. In the aftermath, Frank is scanned, arrested.

48 - A woman in a refugee camp. Hates the volunteers, hates not being seen, hates everything. Recognises her predicament. Dreams of escape.

49 - Post WWII financial order. Keynes’s “bancor” rejected. How USD became the imperial coin.

50 - Mary meets more bankers to pitch carbon coin plan (UK, Euro, considers China). They dismiss her offhandedly. A potted history of banking. Goes to Berlin, Bundesbank. Intent on their own safety to a degree that becomes dangerous…(p217). Russia - “living in the past of their own region’s psyche” (218). Great macro-analyses of all these countries psyches, by KSR. QQ on the imperialism of globalisation. News of Frank’s capture reaches Mary. Contemplates Stockholm Syndrome. Visits Frank in prison - sympathy? Something about societal vs individual obligation going on here.

51 - Big shift. 30’s - zombie years. Crash Day, 60 planes down. The War for the Earth. Drones feature a lot. Children of Kali? READ (along with 52, below)

52 - Sikkim and Kerala: model states for new, progressive India. Strong utopian vision. READ

53 - Photon, warming Earth. Weird! Wave-particle duality, dark matter…

54 - Zurich. MftF. Negotiating with fossil fuel lawyers. Janus Athena’s ideas for a Facebook replacement, tied in to new carbon crypto. Interesting thoughts on gender (as project?).

55 - ‘gilets jaunes’. A new Commune. “This we felt was a French thing above all, a kind of political improvisation that our whole history and even our language made us good at, if we could figure it out an pull it off.” QQ: “We have to live, we have to give this place to the kids with the animals still alive and a chance to make a living. That’s not so much to ask.” A nice read - possible READ? (Thoughts on occupation, change, reformation.)

56 - MftF. Inefficiency of world courts for pursuing climate justice. Badim proposes a new religion. QQ:
‘Really there were no mysteries here, in either the nature of the problem or the solutions.
“And yet it’s not happening,” Mary observed.
They regarded her. There is resistance to it happening, they reminded her.
“Indeed,” she said. They were caught in a maze. They were caught in an avalanche, carrying them down past a point from which there would be no clawing back. They were losing. Losing to other people, people who apparently didn’t see the stakes involved.’ (p251)

57 - Antarctica. Pumping ice. Jordi gets stuck. A trifecta of impossibilities, it’s not going to work. “The beaches of the world were fucked.” (p260) NB - floats the prospect of criticism to geoengineering: “Call it whatever you want, but don’t immediately clutch your pearls and declare we can’t predict the unintended consequences, we are sure to create backlash effects so bad they overthrow the good we intended, etc. There are some things man was not meant to know-my ass! We are meant to know everything we can find out. So get over that whole wimpy line of objec-tion. And I’lI tell-you what the unintended side effects of slowing down the glaciers of Antarctica will be: nothing. Nada. No side effects what-soever, and the beaches and coastal cities of the world will stay out of the drink.” (p265) Narrator’s cowboy attitude. Griffen. Dies in a snowmobile accident, leaving the road and falling into a snow-covered crevasse.

58 - The contribution from Spain: Mondragón co-operative. A “Catholic political economy”? Utopian vision. The commons. READ…?

59 - Los Angeles (LA) floods. Kayaker. Not like a movie at all. Basin, mountains, geography. City will have to be rebuilt - smart climate-oriented design incoming?

60 - MftF. YourLock goes live. Works like a credit union. Mary visits Frank May in prison. Review of staggering crises: strikes, stock market crashes, new droughts, LA flood. “Some deep flip in the global unconscious was making people queasy.” (286) —> Utopian? NB: “It was a different time, a new structure of feeling, a new material situation.” (287 - that’s what this passage is describing) A mega economic crash. Mary has another meeting with the bankers, in Basel. They agree to back a carbon coin —> Utopian? Mary’s Irishness. Nothing happens. A bomb goes off in the MftF offices in Höchstrasse, Zurich.

61 - Format: an article on psychology. Pathological responses to biosphere collapse. The Masque of the Red Death Syndrome, Götterdämmerung Syndrome (“the God-damning of the world”). ‘Götterdämmerung capitalism’ flouted. KSR setting us up for a last-ditch fightback from the capitalists?

62 - Perspective: security team leader. Mary in a hut in the mountains. Interesting geological formations. Crux in the cliff-face across the cobalt lake. Signs of melting glaciers. Rockfall in the night: code red. Depart.

63 - A long ice-hike. Mary taken to a military base in the heart of the mountain. Switzerland under attack: UN offices, banking systems. Meeting the 7 presidents - ex-bankers, mostly. QQ: The global financial system is “an accidental megastructure… right at the heart of society” (315). Mary lasers the audience into inventing “the next political economy, post-capitalism” (317). This is KSR’s truly utopian idea, I think. UTOPIA READ.

64 - Essay. John Maynard Keynes, “euthansia of the rentier class” (319). QQ: “Capitalism: after a long and vigorous life, now incurable, living in pain In a coma; become a zombie; without a plan; without any hope of returning to health. So you put it out of its misery.” (320). READ.

65 - Miners in Namibia. Liberation, nationalisation. African Union, Africa for Africans. Utopian vision. READ —> opportunity to discuss fault lines in KSR’s utopian project, the scalar discrepancies —> oversimplification of day-to-day realities, lack of nuance… the difficulties of a “long” historical view? How does piece on Africa change how we think about India pieces, e.g.?

66 - The story of carbon, told by the element. Weird sexual innuendos. Ends up carbon-captured (hydromagnesium / magnesium carbonate).

67 - Essay on tax. QQ: “If all fiat money everywhere went digital and got recorded in block-chains, so that its location and transaction history could be traced and seen by all, then illegal tax dodges could be driven into non-existence by sanc-tion, embargo, seizure, and erasure.” 333)

68 - Mary back in Zurich, protected. Visits Frank in jail. He has a family?

69 - Saudi Arabian coup, new government transitions to clean energy. Massive UTOPIAN moment. READ. Brazil follows suit. Economists speculate confusedly about the meaning of the new carbon coins. QQ: “…mainstream economists everywhere were fearful that this sudden flood of new currency was going to cause massive deflation. Or perhaps inflation: macroeconomics was no longer so very clear on the ultimate effects of quantitative easing, given that the evidence from the past half century could be interpreted either way. That this debate was a clear sign that macroeconomics as a field was ideological to the point of astrology was often asserted by people in all the other social sciences, but economists were still very skilled at ignoring outside criticisms of their field, and now they forged on contradicting themselves as confidently as ever” (343). Growth as degrowth —> KSR’s ultimately utopian mechanism. Russian pebble-mob missiles, changes war completely. Heatwave in American South, hundreds of thousands dead.

70 - COP meetings go on in the face of “ever-widening disasters”. Developed vs developing nations, the importance of wording. Rights of future generations.

71 - Badim’s note-taker. Everyone reports. Term “geoengineering” needs to be rehabilitated, someone opines; “Good luck with that,” says Mary (357). Janus Athena talks about shadow government, Gaia, world or Earth citizenship, taking hold on YourLock (new internet platform). UTOPIA

72 - Habitat corridors, US focus. Great writing. Mocking Midwest mentality & ignoramus hunter-types. Many QQ’s. KSR on his home turf? READ. (Half Earth theory also floated.)

73 - Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Some speculative economics, based on “how to do the needful in the biosphere’s time of crisis” (366).

74 - Frank May’s peaceful prison life. Cheerful Eskimaux, facing up to Nartsuk. Mary visits. Very interesting talk around PTSD, taking on the trauma of other people. The “everything feeling”, a new structure of feeling? Frank sees some goats up on the Alps. Kinship. READ.

75 - Big change chapter. A spasm of revolutions worldwide (student debt, African debt, Tiananmen Square, Kurds, etc.). Zeitgeist? New structure of feeling? Implications for banks, finance. Loss in social trust —> existential crisis for money. A “Super Depression”, mass unemployment. People demand changes to the way central banks work, shared profits, etc. MftF “shadow government” comes into play. QQ: “The sun still rose, plants kept growing. But people lived in ideas, so despite the sun in the sky and so on, things felt crazy. It was a panic spring.” (380). READ

76 - US Navy. Female able seaman perspective. Well-run institution, navy as do-gooders. Wage parity: 1 to 8. Excellent idea. UTOPIA, READ.

77 - Short, cryptic, abstract essay on History (personified).

78 - Badim visits Lucknow, place of his childhood. Meets Children of Kali. Tells them to change tactics. Powerful, moving chapter. “I am Kali,” he says, realising it himself, arms bloody to the elbows.

79 - Frank May, on the verge of being released. Wanders around Zurich. The old fear threatens to return. Tells Mary to visit a refugee camp.

80 - Shrewish wife drives her ox-like husband to work their shitty plot of inherited land for carbon coins. Capturing carbon with permaculture.

81 - Telephone conversation between Mary and Tatiana. Persuading reach people to cap wealth at 50 million. Thoughts on Russia, Soviet bear vs. Czarist fantasy (Putin).

82 - Occupy/anarchist perspective. The need for a Plan B when things break down. QQ: “Say the internet stops working, your savings suddenly vanish and money doesn’t work anymore: Jesus H. Christ in a bucket! Can you make up a new society from scratch at that point? No, you can’t. Things just fall apart and next thing you know you’re eating your cat.” (408) “Public utility districts” (socialism): public ownership of necessities (food, water, shelter, clothing, electricity, health care, education). KSR insists that central banks & nation state system needs to be part of this. READ (Note for class: what’s your Plan B? Writing exercise…)

83 - Tatiana in St Petersburg (?), meeting old friend Svetlana on a bridge. Cold. Talk of helping to push through reformist laws.

84 - Changes in shipping. Mary travels by giant photovoltaic yacht to the US, takes high-speed train to San Fran to meet the bankes. Bliss. UTOPIA. Reviews carbon coin process. All sounds good. NB Question: what is happening to the narrative form here? Are we entering a kind of utopian mode, moving on from conflict-as-necessity? Keep an eye on this in rest of the novel. Some catastrophe still to come?

85 - Catalogue of biodiversity projects from around the globe. Alphabetised.

86 - Mary and Frank go up the Alps to look at chamoix, marmots. Peaceful. Talk of rewilding. Frank falls flat on his face on their descent.

87 - Rural town meeting in Montana. Discussing closing down the town, as part of rewilding initiative. Townsfolk emotional, well compensated. Note the ref to oil compansies doing the same thing (film: “Local Hero”). UTOPIAN

88 - Impressionistic mini-essay from perspective of the collective “herd” (animals).

89 - CO2 levels drop. Frank May has a tumor. Tatiana assassinated. Mary back in hiding, announces massive COP to take stock of winning climate battle (indexed by carbon drawdown and finance / carboni). “The losing side of a Pyrrhic victory could be said to have won.” (456)

90 - Essay. Dialogue form. Discussion on whether technology drives history, or not. Philosophically moot, which might be KSR’s point, I think: use whatever we can to make the change we want. Geoengineer our way out of global warming, if we must. Discuss in class? READ.

91 - Frank has a glioblastoma. Mary visits, tries to cheer him up. His opinions are leaving, one by one. Mary meets Art, dirigible operator.

92 - Refugee perspective. News reaches the camps that they are to be released & given world citizen status. UTOPIAN.

93 - Antarctica. Pumps stop pumping. Inspection. All the water pumped from beneath a big glacier: success. Survival by any means necessary, appears to be the lesson.

94 - 58th COP meeting of Paris agreement. A stocktaking. “The birth of a good Anthropocene.” Day one: victories; day two: remaining challenges. Mary roams. Frank collapses, Mary visits. Hospice care. Existential thoughts on death, its reality. UTOPIAN READ (blending utopia, dystopia, the singularity of subjective experience).

95 - Brief 1st person riddle-essay. Cryptic personification of the afterlife? Consciousness? Cosmos?

96 - Mary attends to Frank’s parting. Walks through Zurich, admiring the Swiss. Thinks of Martin, PTSD. Fireworks, the exploding head of Böögg. LITERARY chapter (think about this: why is the story around which this UTOPIAN novel revolves one of kidnapping, hostage situation evolving into relationship of care? What kind of FEELINGS do we have to do with here?).

97 - Wild animals return. Animals mean something now, to people. Massively UTOPIAN. New structure of feeling: “healing” (p502). READ?

98 - Meeting, Badim’s note-taker. Mary retires.

99 - Imaginary conversation (with a kind of neo-Marxist?). Anonymous. Failure as solution. Invisible revolutions. No one knows where power is anymore, supposedly. Interesting. The movement of capital, who has it - the central question.

100 - Mary takes new ship to San Fran. QQ: The sadness of travel by plane. Saved by bankers!

101 - Hong Kong’s political pressure on Beijing. Solidarity. “Language is the real family” (p517). Cantonese vs Mandarin. NOTE: KSR’s disembodied voice, a kind of communal Hong Kong opinion, is central to his utopian project: a literary manifestation of thinking on a global scale. How does this compare to other Utopian narrative perspective, e.g. More’s classical tour guide in a strange land? DISCUSS IN CLASS / READ?

102 - Mary, retired, goes flying in Arthur Nolan’s airship. Captain Art. Wolverines in the Californian Sierra. “Lords of winter” (522). Arctic - yellow-dyed oceans. An apology fir geoengineering. Romance in the airship. Jules Verne ref. Serengeti Safari: desalinated water piped in to keep the rivers flowing; 12th year of drought. Antarctica, the pumping projects. Mary goes home, negotiates her budding relationship with Captain Art. A most peculiar affair. Old-worldy. Interesting chapter, flirting with old-school romance.

103 - Hawaii. “worldwide lovefest”, “mamma Gaia” (538). Performing the noösphere. Celebratory earth-moment. Singing a song of praise, surfing it out on a left at Point Panic. A moment of grace. Mamma mia!

104 - Mary settles into Zürcher life. A conversation with Badim, who it turns out was behind blowing up of MftF offices.

105 - Syrian refugees settled in a Swiss village. Ausländer. Open a restaurant. NB thoughts on dignity, as a basic human right. “Dignity is something you get from other people” (551), which makes it tricky. QQ: on what Swiss German sounds like. Funny. NB time and equality: punctuality as regard for the other person (TEMPORALITY). The importance of learning the local language. KSR floating an idea about the refugee problem here, I think.

106 - Fasnacht. Captain Art returns to Zurich. Talk of Anthropocene wilderness. Zurich lions on display. Talk of Charles Fourier: UTOPIA. Lions delivering the mail. Something paradisiacal about this Fasnacht, zootopian. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Guggenmusik, jolly chaos. “Playing: music was adults at play” (561).